-The Eastern League in Baseball: A Statistical History, 1923-2005

-Baseball in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching the National Pastime

-Jews And Baseball: A History, 1871-1948

-Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero

-Pro Football Prospectus 2006

-Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


October 16 2006

Here's a look at the offensive leaders for the Phillies for the past two seasons:


Phillies offensive leaders



G Utley 160 G Abreu 162
AB Rollins 689 AB Rollins 677
R Utley 131 R Rollins 115
H Utley 203 H Rollins 196
2B Rollins 45 2B Utley 39
3B Rollins 9 3B Rollins 11
HR Howard 58 HR Burrell 32
RBI Howard 149 RBI Burrell 117
BB Howard 108 BB Abreu 117
SO Howard 181 SO Burrell 160
SB Rollins 36 SB Rollins 41
AVG Howard .313 AVG Utley .291
OBP Howard .425 OBP Abreu .405
SLG Howard .659 SLG Utley .540

The biggest surprises for me involved Chase Utley.  First, in a demonstration in benefits of hitting in front of Ryan Howard, he scored more runs than Rollins in 2006 despite the fact that Rollins scored the most runs of his career.  Utley's 131 led the National League while Rollins was tied for second with Carlos Beltran at 127.  Assuming Rollins is leading off for the Phils till the time at which he keels over, the Phillies need someone to hit in-between Rollins and Utley.  It would be ducky if Shane Victorino proves to be the guy, but the idea of going into 2007 with Rowand in center and a Victorino/Conine platoon in right seems like it has disaster written all over it.

Utley was one of only seven players in all of baseball to come up with 200 or more hits this year.  He was second in the NL behind Juan Pierre, who needs to win some kind of award for managing to have a miserable season while leading his league in hits.  Pierre had 204 while hitting 292/330/388 in 699 at-bats.

The other surprise for me about Utley was that he had outslugged Burrell in 2005.  Burrell had a great year in '05, hitting 281/389/504 with 32 home runs and 117 RBI.  He had 60 extra-base hits.  Utley hit 291/376/540 with 73 extra-base hits in fewer at-bats.  Burrell had 562 at-bats, Utley 543 in '05.

Speculation abounds here and here about a Burrell for A-Rod deal.  I strongly advise against holding your breath.

Elsewhere, the Mets evened up the NLCS at two games apiece by beating the Cardinals 12-5 in Game 4 in St Louis.  Tony LaRussa pinch-hit for starter Anthony Reyes in the bottom of the fourth in a 2-2 game.  His pen would go on to allow ten runs on 11 hits in five innings.

Carlos Delgado was 2-for-4 with a home run and five RBI for the Mets.  He's 6-for-15 with three homers and nine RBI in the four games so far.  Beltran was 3-for-3 with two homers and is 5-for-15 with three walks in the series.  David Wright was 1-for-4 with a homer but is just 1-for-13 in the NLCS.

Pujols is 4-for-7 in the two games the Cardinals have won in the series.  After going 0-for-4 last night he's 0-for-7 in the two games they've lost.

Game 5 is tonight and features a matchup between Tom Glavine and Jeff Weaver, two pitchers who have been superb in the post-season.  Glavine is 2-0 in the playoffs and has thrown to a 0.00 ERA in 13 innings.  Weaver is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA.  The two squared off in Game 1, which the Mets won 2-0 thanks to Glavine and a two-run homer from Beltran in the bottom of the sixth.

No games yesterday in the Arizona Fall League.  The 2-3 Saguaros face the Phoenix Desert Dogs this afternoon.

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